Vatican I and Creation


 The First Vatican Council affirmed the Scriptural and Traditional understanding of Creation. The Council was convened for the very purpose of "uprooting of current errors" of Darwinian evolutionary theory permeating and empowering rationalistic and materialistic philosophy in the major learning centers around the world, including Catholic institutions. Pope Pius stated in the Council's Dogmatic Constitution of the Catholic Faith:

With this impiety spreading in every direction, it has come about, alas, that many even among the children of the Catholic Church have strayed from the path of genuine piety, and as the truth was gradually diluted in them, their Catholic sensibility was weakened. Led away by diverse and strange teachings, and confusing nature and grace, human knowledge and divine faith, they are found to distort the genuine sense of the dogmas which Holy mother Church holds and teaches, and to endanger the integrity and genuineness of the faith.

The "current errors" that the Council condemned was simply that materialistic and rationalistic philosophy was exalting the ability of human knowledge, reason, and observational powers above the authority of the revelation of God. Jesus, the Christ, is the fullness of the revelation of God. As Jesus said to the disciples on the road to Emmaus, "O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." (Luke 24:25-27) Likewise, Paul, wrote, "Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds." (Hebrews 1:1-2, NRSV)

The Old and New Testaments reveal the true origins of the heavens and earth, both spiritual and corporeal, the creation of man in the image of God, the rebellion of Lucifer and his temptation that brought about the fall of man, God subjecting the world to corruption as a result of the fall, the entrance of death into the world through sin, and the promise of God to send forth the incarnate Son of God for the redemption of man and the restoration of all creation." (Gen. 3:15) Regarding this plan of God for salvation and restoration the apostle Paul wrote:

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:18-23)

This knowledge is what constitutes the Christian world-view. It is the factual truth as to where we came from, what happens after death, and the manner in which we should conduct ourselves in between. Not to believe God's revelation to mankind on these matters is to call God a liar, as John states,"Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1John 5:10-12)

The "diverse and strange teachings," introduced into rationalistic and materialistic philosophy by Darwinian theory, is, as described by the First Vatican Council, a direct assault on the foundation of faith, and if believed confuses "nature and grace, human knowledge and divine faith," and will ultimately "distort the genuine sense of the dogmas which Holy mother Church holds and teaches, and endanger the integrity and genuineness of the faith." The reality of this is dramatically seen in Marxist/Darwinian thought. Karl Marx in his Communist Manifesto states that religion is the opiate (drug) of the people. Vladimir Lenin championed this philosophy which was empowered by Darwinian theory as illustrated by the figurine of the "Philosophizing Ape" by Hugo Rheinhold that sat on Lenin's Desk.

  

Darwin's book "On The Origin Of The Species" was the new bible for the philosophizing ape that contemplated where he had came from and where he was going. No longer would man submit his reasoning powers to an archaic book filled with mythical and contradictory accounts of creation (Genesis). Man had now fully ascended out of the dark ages with science being his guiding light. This rebellion against God, the rejection of Sacred Scripture, the overthrow of cultures, the introduction of a culture of death, the millions murdered under the likes of Lenin, Stalin, Mao (and any other world leader that embraced this Marxist/Darwinian world-view), the proliferation of war, the attack on marriage and the institution of the family, etc., is a direct result of believing "the lie" and rejecting the witness of God. The apostle Paul prophesied that these perilous days would come just prior to the Lord's second advent, he writes:

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by his appearing and his coming. The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2Thes. 2:7-12)

So what "dogmas which Holy mother Church holds and teaches" did this new modernistic philosophy attack and overthrow? The Dogmatic Constitution of the Catholic Faith provides the outline of the dogmas under attack. The Council text is ordered under these headings:

CHAPTER I - ON GOD, THE CREATOR OF ALL THINGS
CHAPTER II - ON REVELATION
CHAPTER III - ON FAITH
CHAPTER IV - ON FAITH AND REASON

It is plain from this outline that Materialistic and Rationalistic philosophy did not attribute the creation of the material universe to God, nor did they accept Divine revelation's account of creation, nor did the believe that Faith "is a supernatural virtue, whereby, inspired and assisted by the grace of God, we believe that the things which He has revealed are true," nor does it acknowledge that "created reason being absolutely subject to uncreated truth."
One of the "current errors" addressed in Dogmatic Constitution was the whole notion of biological evolution which is a progressive development of life forms from simple to complex with an ever increasing diversity over a long period of time. In Chapter I, Article 3, we read:

This sole true God by His goodness and "omnipotent power," not to increase His own beatitude, and not to add to, but to manifest His perfection by the blessings which He bestows on creatures, with most free volition, "immediately from the beginning of time fashioned each creature out of nothing, spiritual and corporeal, namely angelic and mundane; and then the human creation, common as it were, composed of both spirit and body" (Denzinger, The Sources Of Catholic Dogma, pg. 443)

Against the Darwinian theory of slow progressive development of species over a long period of time, the Council dogmatically stated that God "immediately from the beginning of time fashioned each creature out of nothing, spiritual and corporeal, namely angelic and mundane; and then the human creation, common as it were, composed of both spirit and body." This declaration is incredible in its detail and scope as it affirms God as the creator of all things, that this creation was "out of nothing," that creation was not material alone, but also spiritual, and that man alone shared the natures of material and spirit. The declaration that God created "immediately from the beginning of time" affirmed the biblical creation narrative. When God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds," the cattle and bugs were not in some transitional form, but were "in their whole substance," as Canon I, Article 5 of the First Vatican Council states, "If anyone does not confess that the world, and all things that are contained in it, both spiritual and material, have been, in their whole substance, produced by God out of nothing...let him be anathema."

Thus, God called Michael, the Archangel into existence "immediately," in his "whole substance" with his name being Michael, as an archangel, with the full duties and responsibilities of the office for which he was created by God. Likewise, Adam, was created "immediately," in his "whole substance," formed from the clay of the earth (material) and the spirit breathed into him (spiritual), so that in that very instant, he became Adam a living being.

Article 5 condemned in the strongest possible way the two major tenants of Darwinian evolution, namely, that the development of life could occur without God, and the notion that life progressively evolved over a long period of time instead of appearing "immediately" in its "whole substance." The Church, in Article 5, from the seat of Peter, in a duly call council of bishops, anathematized both propositions. Consequently, the First Vatican Council makes it clear that this issue is not an "open question," and to hold a contrary position will most certainly lead to the destruction of true Catholic Faith as the Council stated:

With this impiety spreading in every direction, it has come about, alas, that many even among the children of the Catholic Church have strayed from the path of genuine piety, and as the truth was gradually diluted in them, their Catholic sensibility was weakened. Led away by diverse and strange teachings, and confusing nature and grace, human knowledge and divine faith, they are found to distort the genuine sense of the dogmas which Holy mother Church holds and teaches, and to endanger the integrity and genuineness of the faith.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A "woke" Catholic's Spiritual Plan of Attack

Jesus and His Bible

Lectio Divina Reflection - Need Wisdom - Ask God!